Katusha suspends sprint coach Erik Zabel after confession of doping throughout his career
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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Katusha suspends sprint coach Erik Zabel after confession of doping throughout his career

by Shane Stokes at 5:10 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Russian team insists questions about his past don’t have any connection to his role with team

Erik ZabelResponding to last week’s news that Erik Zabel had been one of the riders who tested positive for EPO in the 1998 Tour de France, the Katusha team has this morning confirmed that he will be sidelined from his current position as sprint coach for the squad.

It referred to the investigation of the French Senate, which looked at retests carried out in 2004 and provided information that enabled the identification of Zabel as testing positive on two occasions in the 1998 race.

“These revelations refer to Zabel's career as an active racer from 1996 to 2003 and do not have any connection with team Katusha whatsoever,” it said in a statement, saying that he would be suspended.

“As a member of Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Crédible (MPCC), Katusha follows a strong anti-doping policy,” it added.

In 2007, Zabel had admitted to using EPO for a very limited period in 1996, but said that he stopped due to bad side effects. However following the French Senate report, he admitted to sueddeutsche.de that he had lied and that he had actually used EPO, cortisone and blood transfusions during an eight year time period, from 1996 to 2003.

He said that his limited confession was done in order that he could remain part of the peloton.

Yesterday Zabel announced that he had resigned from the UCI’s Professional Cycling Council. He expressed “deep regret for having lied for so long about taking performance enhancing substances,” and admitted that he “is no longer the right person to be a part of the Professional Cycling Council.”

He also stood down from his role as part of the Vattenfall Cyclassics WorldTour race, run in Hamburg, Germany.

Zabel stated yesterday evening on Twitter that he had decided to step back from his various positions in professional cycling.

He is also a mentor of the Canyon Young Heroes programme, working with promising young riders from Europe. It is yet to be confirmed if he will also vacate that position.


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